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Paray Shikshalay: Happy children, relieved parents and hopeful teachers

Jaismita Alexander
Jaismita Alexander
Posted on 07 Feb 2022
20:38 PM
Paray Shikshalay took off with fun-filled lessons on the first day.

Paray Shikshalay took off with fun-filled lessons on the first day. Photo: Jaismita Alexander

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Summary
Children write letters and numbers, draw and colour
Play time with friends for little ones after class

Eager children queued before time to ‘attend school’ after two years, some for the first time, as the West Bengal government’s Paray Shikshalay initiative took off amid hope.

Edugraph visited the Paray Shikshalay camp at Jatin Moitra Park, Darjeepara, KMC Ward 17, to interact with the students, teachers, school heads, parents and the councillor.

Here’s what they had to say about Paray Shikshalay:

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Student-speak

Rahul Bairagi, Class II, Calcutta Vidya Bhawan, north Kolkata

I enjoyed a lot today. I coloured an owl in my drawing book. I also wrote numbers and letters with the help of my teacher. I was in pre-primary when I used to go to school. It was very boring at home as I could not play or study properly. I used to watch cartoon all day. My mother used to teach me and we had online class but I don’t like it. Today I met my friend after so many days and we played on the slide. I will come here every day.

Subranil Dutta, Class II, Calcutta Vidya Bhawan, north Kolkata

I was waiting to come to school as I don’t like to sit at home and attend online class. I did not understand anything in online class and fell asleep. My parents taught me at home and a neighbour also taught me. But I still wanted to go to school to mee my friends and teachers. Today, I drew a fish and a bird and coloured them. My teacher said “Very Good”. I could also write letters and numbers. I said some spellings too. I want to join the army when I grow up.

Isha Ram, Class I, Samta Prathomik Vidyalaya, north Kolkata

I drew a house today. My teacher asked me to sing the alphabet rhyme. I couldn’t attend online class. My mother and elder sister used to teach me at home. I played after class with my friend Ankita. We sat on the see-saw. I want to become a singer when I grow up.

Meghna Lenka, Class I, Sree Bidyaniketan Primary School, north Kolkata

I wrote 1 to 20 and drew a scenery today. I coloured the house in red because it is my favourite colour. I have never been to a school but I love it here. My teacher is very good and she gave me a star in my drawing book. I made two new friends. At home, my father used to teach me and an uncle also came in the evening to teach. I want to be in the police when I grow up. My mother says for that I have to study hard and be a strong girl.

Teacher-speak

Sharmistha Dutta, headmistress, Sree Bidyaniketan Primary School

About five children of Classes I and II attended the open-air class today. Many parents have said they will send their children after a few days. Today, we are not teaching anything as such we were told to keep the lessons light on the first day. We are making them draw and colour. Also, we are asking students to sing and dance. We are also trying to make them identify parts of trees and other things around them. We will let them play in the park for some time after class. Today, many students have come for the first time and none of them has thrown a tantrum. They are enjoying and parents are also saying that children were waiting to come to school. They were locked up for two years and today when they got a chance to come, many of them have come so early. This makes me hopeful that we will be able to make up for the learning loss through this initiative till schools reopen for all.

Pompa Ghosh, headmistress, Satyendra Nath Datta Smriti Prathamik Vidyalaya

I have five students today from pre-primary, Classes I and II. More students will join us after a few days. You can see how much the students are enjoying. They were very serious about the task we did today. Our teachers have done their best to revise the alphabet and numbers since many of them have forgotten everything. We were unable to manage online classes for all since these children are too young. They didn’t understand why they would have to sit in front of a phone for hours. Today many of them have joined for the first time. The weather is also pleasant and we are enjoying the chatter of these kids.

Suchismita Das, assistant teacher, Sree Bidyaniketan Primary School

We did not teach much today. It is like a first day, fun day thing. So we kept everything basic. Students have shown patience and enjoyed themselves today. They were happy to be among each other. I made them write a little and then some of them coloured in their colouring books. I was worried whether they would be distracted or bored but I was surprised to find them very attentive. I am hoping more students will join us in the coming days. Paray Shikshalay is definitely a great alternative till schools reopen for all.

Smita Basak, mother of Sagnik Basak, Class I, Sree Bidyaniketan Primary School

My son is going to school for the first time. He was so excited that he did not sleep at night. He kept on asking what he would do at school. He has two elder sisters who go to school now since their schools have reopened. He was sad when they started going and he could not. But today finally he is here. He got addicted to the phone at home in these two years. With Paray Shikshalay, I am hoping he will divert his mind and spend quality time here.

Councillor-speak

Mohan Kumar Gupta, Councillor, KMC Ward 17

I have come here today to check whether all COVID-19 safety protocol are in place. Many students have come wearing cloth masks, so I have distributed three-ply surgical masks among them. We also made sure they have proper drinking water facilities and access to the toilet. This initiative brings to my mind the older times when great legends gained knowledge under trees from their gurus. With this pandemic, these children were distanced from gaining knowledge but today it gives me immense joy to see them attending classes so happily.

Last updated on 08 Feb 2022
13:29 PM
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